Boom of Experiential Travel and its Positive Impact on Travel Industry

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“The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page” – Saint Augustine

In this day and age, travel is not a luxury anymore; it is a necessity. Travel has found an essential place in the lives of people. Living the fast life of 9 to 5 culture makes one blow off steam time and again.

From exotic islands of Thailand to snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, the choices are endless. But the travel trends have been changing. People do not want to be a mere tourist anymore. They want to feel like a part of the country they are visiting, to immerse themselves in the foreign culture and feel like a new person again. Tourism is out. Experiential Travel is in!

Experiential travel revolves around cultural exploration and activity-based travel experiences. Also known as immersion travel, is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food and environment. There are many types of experiential travel:

1. Adventure Travel

Adventure travel is centered around traveling to exotic locations to indulge in wild adventures and sports like scuba diving, sky diving, bungee jumping, cliff diving, hiking and many more. Be it running with the bulls in Spain or swimming with the Manta Rays in Maldives, adventure travel is the adrenaline rush that most millennials chase after.

2. Sustainable Travel

Eco-friendly travel where people travel in a way that leaves behind the least carbon footprint. This type of traveler usually travels via hitch-hiking or public transport to reduce the usage of fuel. They also carry their own refillable bottles and cutlery to avoid using disposable plastic. They engage with the locals of the place and also organize cleaning drives to help create awareness about the sustainability aspect of travel.

3. Culinary Travel

Food related experiences in travel has always seen a higher level of interest. From grape-stomping at a vineyard in France to binge-eating sessions at food markets of Singapore, food has always been an intrinsic part of any culture. To experience a country’s authentic food is to experience that country’s soul.

4. Pop Culture Travel

Movies, books and TV series play a pivotal role in shaping travel itineraries across the globe. Be it seeking solace like Christopher in Into The Wild or having an experience of a lifetime like Elizabeth in Eat Pray Love, pop culture has been influential for many. Now with social media influencers mapping the world one blogpost at a time, travel industry has seen an iconic boom.

5. Workation

Combine work with a vacation and you’ve got yourself a workation. People with rigid schedules combine their vacations with work visits and extend the trip to enjoy the place. This trend has seen a quantifiable rise in the last 5 years as more people lean towards combining business with pleasure.

6. Spiritual Travel

Getting lost in a new country and rediscovering yourself is a recognizable trope. Travelers now aim to visit places that offer solace, healing and spiritual awakening. From Rishikesh- the yoga capital of the world, to the monasteries of Thailand, locales around the globe offer experiential travel in forms of soulful vacations.

Travelers have now bid goodbye to run-of-the-mill travel experiences that mass tourism offers. They now expect more personalization in travel itineraries and seek out hidden gems to experience the place completely. This shift in travel has been beneficial to the travel industry as it promotes eco-friendly trends. Social media influencers set forth new exotic locations for common people to add to their bucket list. The fear of missing out on this trend is rampant in Gen Z, who have the world at their fingertips. Travel technology has made it easier to research any place on the globe. Right from applying for a visa to booking tickets and self-checking into private rooms, everything could be done in matter of minutes. The ease of access has given travel a much-needed push.

We, at TCW Group, offer all kinds of experiential as well as luxury travel to assure that you get that much needed break and tick exotic locations off your bucket list one country at a time!

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